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In the short stories Killings by Andre Dubus and By-and-by by Amy Bloom, the authors demonstrate the effect of grief on their characters.

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Introduction

Tolerating Grief All people go into a period of grieving when they lose a loved one. Even though there are many different ways of handling the grief one cannot get rid of it only tolerate it. It will always devour at what a person is. In the short stories "Killings" by Andre Dubus and "By-and-by" by Amy Bloom, the authors demonstrate the effect of grief on their characters. Greif can only be tolerated because it empties out what the person use to be. It drains them of who they were before the person they loved died. In both short stories imagery is used to help show what is happening within the characters hearts as they deal with grief. To describes their characters feelings the authors used imagery and connected it with scenery that evoked universal feelings. Dubus used Matt's environment to open a window into Matt's soul and feelings. Matt found himself to be lifeless and disembodied as soon as he killed his son's murderer Richard Strout. ...read more.

Middle

To cope after the death of someone they hold dear people will often use each other as support. In "By-and-By" both the narrator and Anne Warburg's mother do this for one another. Talking on the phone with each other they retell old stories about Anne. It was a way for them to cope but at the same time not letting Anne die. They talked as if she was still alive but out of town. They felt as if that there was still a chance she was in a mountain still in New York State somewhere and would be home soon. In "Killings" Matt Fowler friends and customers wanted to support him as well. They treated him as normally as they could and looked at him with sympathetic eyes. The community tried to be there and console Matt in his time of need which he appreciated. Even though he did this act of kindness was also something he disliked. ...read more.

Conclusion

Warburg could handle. As soon as they found and buried Anne's body, Mrs.Warburg became an invalid and shortly died. In their own way Matt and the narrator of "By-and-By" also became invalids. As they cope with their grief they were not able to live the life they once did. They became shadows of what they once were. The approaching winters of both stories had both Matt and the narrator of "By-and-by" reflect on not only the snow that would cover their love one's body but also reflect on how the person is now erased from their lives. Tolerating the grief of losing a loved one is about all that one can do. Grief itself cannot be coped with nor can one get rid of it. In a short time it overwhelms the psyche as it did for Matt Fowler, and the narrator of "By-and-By". Amy Bloom. "By-and-by." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Stephen A. Scipione. Ninth Edition. Boston, Mass: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. Pages 632-637 Andre Dubus. "Killings." The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Stephen A. Scipione. Ninth Edition. Boston, Mass: Bedford/St. Martins, 2011. Pages 103-115 ...read more.

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